The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 26 , 2014
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‘We give Bangla a lot of respect’

Mirpur: Pressed into service after injury to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik believes he can add a bit of freshness to India’s Asia Cup campaign after the battering the team went through in recent international engagements.

India will start their Asia Cup campaign against hosts Bangladesh in Fatullah. Karthik, who was not a part of the squad that went winless in the recent tours of South Africa and New Zealand, said he is not scarred by the disastrous results.

“For me it’s about coming out here... It’s important to get into the zone just before the game. Obviously, as a player, I’m very excited to be a part of this Indian cricket team. It’s one of the best teams. For me, it’s an honour to represent India and do the best that I can,” Karthik said after Tuesday’s practice session, here, at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Asked about India’s winless patch, a nonchalant Karthik said: “Actually, you should have asked this question to somebody who was a part of these eight ODIs. Look, I’m coming into this team fresh. As an individual, I can talk of my perspective and say that for me it’s going to be exciting. I’m sure it’s the same for all the players. But somebody who has played those eight games will be able to answer this question.”

He went on to add that the team has an exciting bunch of youngsters who would be keen to do well. “Definitely, it’s a big tournament for all of us. It’s going to be exciting for all the young players in the team. So, we all are really looking forward to it.”

The Indian team might not have the experience of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, but Karthik said there are other players who have been around for quite a long time. “I’ve been around scene for some time. Given the opportunity, I will try and use whatever little experience I’ve had and bat to the best of my ability.

“Having said that, quite a few guys have played 100 games which amounts to a lot of experience now. They have been playing now for a year or two. They have been given a good run.”

“Bangladesh are a fantastic one-day team. They had a couple of close games against Sri Lanka. Everybody knows that they are a very good one-day unit. We give them a lot of respect,” Karthik made it clear.

Talking about the absence of Tamim and Shakib, he added: “Tamim and Shakib are major players for Bangladesh. They are going to be replaced by two persons who we may not know much about.”        (PTI)